Futures Point to Rebound on Strong Factory Data


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A round of encouraging data on the global manufacturing sector helped push U.S. stock-index futures higher after a steep drop in the previous session.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:19 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 43 points to 14890, S&P 500 futures gained 6.5 points to 1643 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 17.5 points to 3080.

Two surveys Thursday showed the global manufacturing sector is on the mend.

HSBC's measure of activity in China revved up to 50.1 in August -- the highest level in four months -- from 47.7 in July. The data indicate the manufacturing sector in the world's No. 2 economy expanded in August after contracting the month prior.

"China's manufacturing growth has started to stabiliseon the back of modest improvements of new business and output. This is mainly driven by the initial filtering through of recent fine-tuning measures and companies’ restocking activities, despite the continuous external weakness," said Hongbin Qu, the bank's chief economist for China, in the report.

Meanwhile, another survey on eurozone private-industry activity came in at 51.7 in August from 50.5 in July. The 17-member currency bloc has been rebounding from the debt crisis that pounded its economy.

On the U.S. front, the Labor Department said the number of people filing for first-time jobless benefits rose last week to 336,00 from an upwardly revised 323,000 the week prior. Claims were expected to rise to 330,000 from an initially reported 320,000. The labor market has been in focus as worries have swirled over when the Federal Reserve will begin paring back its vast bond-buying program.

In corporate news, Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) revealed a considerably wider-than-expected quarterly loss as sales slumped. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) said it was "deeply concerned" with a report from a China-based newspaper that the drug giant bribed doctors to prescribe its medications, according to news reports.

Elsewhere, U.S. oil prices climbed 25 cents, or 0.24%, to $104.10 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.3% to $2.946 a gallon. Gold advanced 90 cents, or 0.07%, to $1,370 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rallied 1.1% to 2806, the English FTSE 100 jumped 0.89 to 6448 and the German DAX soared 1.1% to 8373.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.44% to 13365 and the Chinese Hang Seng ticked up 0.36% to 21895.

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